Steps would be taken to introduce a relevant mechanism for foreigners to book their train tickets on their arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport, Railway Services State Minister C. B. Rathnayake said at a media conference yesterday.
He said they should place a limit when issuing many train tickets for a single person. Those tickets should be issued while registering persons' identity card numbers or passport numbers.
"Our official website of the Railways Department is not efficient and no one can book train tickets online," he said.
Therefore, the Railway's official website should be combined with the latest technologies such as online booking and displaying of the railway timetable. Currently, the railway ticket issuance had become a mafia, the Minister said.
The Special Investigation Unit (SIU) which is inefficient at the Sri Lanka Railways Department (SLRD) should be empowered with immediate effect and convert it into an efficient service, the minister said.
"With the current facilities on the website, no one can book train tickets through the online system.
But the private ticket booking companies attached to the Tourist Ministry has that ability to book train tickets at a cost of Rs.6,000 more than the actual cost of Rs.1,500.
Therefore, immediate action should be taken to stop the unauthorised ticket bookings which cause an inconvenience to both foreigners and locals.
If I look from the political perspective, politicians cannot make people inconvenient while hiding behind circulars.
Politicians should listen to people, and they should work according to the peoples' requirements and should make circulars according to their requirements.
I will not be thinking twice when changing Railway Acts in the future and I will take the issues to be debated in parliament", the Minister added.